Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monks offer knowledge; enlightenment into lives

Video by: Faith Jaschke 

By: Faith Jaschke

Chants filled the small room off to the side of the library entrance. More than 100 audience members, both young and old, attended a meet and greet Monday at the San Marcos Public Library with Tibetan monks. It began with a five minute chant by the monks that encompassed the space.

The monks are from the Drepung Loseling Monastery from Atlanta, Ga. affiliated with the monastery located in Tibet. The monks came to create a sand mandala at Texas State University and bless the San Marcos River at Sewell Park. There are 10 monks who came to San Marcos to complete the blessing, but only five came to the library. Of the five, only one spoke English, Lobsang Dhonhup, and he translated what Geshe Tsezing Dhonhup said.

The chant at the beginning of the night was asking to remove suffering from others and allow them happiness, Dhonhup explained. The majority of the rest of the hour was spent explaining the message the monks wanted to convey. Through a mixture of quirky comparisons and laughter, Dhonhup was able to share the words of the vision the monks had to offer.

Toward the end, audience members asked the monks a few questions. Most of the questions were angled around the chanting the monks did at the beginning of the night, specifically about the sounds the monks are able to create with their voice boxes.

“There’s masters who developed chanting and see how chanting in a certain way and  using voice box in a certain way have seen some kind of divine connection ,” said Dhonhup, translating Geshe’s response.

Of the audience members, Keegan Selzer, a San Marcos resident and frequent library user, came to hear the monks speak as a practicing Buddhist himself. Selzer brought a couple beads for Geshe to bless, one of which was for his friend ailing from cancer.

“These [beads] I brought here are for a friend, she’s suffering right now,” said Selzer.

Linda Lyons, a San Marcos resident and owner of a home along the river, came to the event to thank the Monks for their service to the San Marcos River.

“This is such a blessing because of the things because of all the things going on with the water right now, ” said Lyons.
Photo by: Faith Jaschke
Dhonhup discusses the chant performed at the beginning of the evening.                        Photo by: Faith Jaschke                  

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